MAPED is a Tanzanian NGO that works to help the Maasai people to help themselves.  They aim to provide education for the children through the medium of English and to strengthen community bonds to stop the drift to the neighbouring towns in search of work.  Currently one teenager is being sponsored to complete his secondary education.  It is hoped that he will in time teach in the small school that is currently being constructed at Orbili.  We have also provided support for two of MAPED’s leaders to have training to improve their IT skills.

Health education is also given to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS and water filters are being provided to improve the quality of the drinking water. Life in the villages is very basic by Western standards:  water is collected from a river and the people survive by herding cattle and goats and keeping chickens. We have been supporting MAPED on a small scale since two of the committee members of Worldwide Silver Lining visited MAPED in 2008.  Pupils from Royal Russell began building a school and church.

In 2010 the two original committee members returned with some more friends from Royal Russell School.  Three years later they returned again to find the school and church built and operational.  About 60 children from neighhbouring villages attend the school with its English curriculum.  The villagers have joined a scheme to grow onions, and now in an effort to keep the young men in the village a new initiative will soon be started where WWSL will fund a small herd of cattle.

With YOUR support we could help them even more. More crops mean more money.  Healthy cattle provide milk, and later on calves to increase the herd adn provide meat and more income.

THE COW PROJECT - Kerin Indawa Loans Project

Project Summary:

This project aims to provide a sustainable source of income for Maasai youth and families in the Simanjiro region. The project will entail the loan of cattle to lower income members of the community to provide them with the opportunity to develop their own herds.

Problem Statement:

MAPED (Maasai Agriculturalists and Pastoralists for Education and Development) is a Christian, community based organisation tackling what it has identified as the five biggest barriers to development. Namely: HIV/AIDs, lack of clean drinking water, lack of women’s rights, lack of accessible and appropriate education, and the need for evangelism.  

Throughout the years MAPED has successfully tackled several of these issues. Through the efforts of the community choir (a MAPED initiative) the community has grown in its understanding and incorporation of women’s rights and awareness of HIV/AIDs and its causes. Through the En-kata Partnership (see MAPED has accomplished the building of the En-kata English Medium Primary School, and is now making plans for the construction of a well in the region. Evangelism is a key part of all these activities.

However, though the building of the school is addressing the need for education amongst the younger generations, and the older generations are comfortably living traditional lifestyles, these initiatives have failed to reach the youth and young families in the region.

Due to their Christian faith the youth are now unable to steal cattle in order to form their own herds. They are too old to partake in the formal education offered by the school and, due to this lack of education, unqualified to secure gainful employment in town.

This often means that disillusioned youth are heading to the cities, taking up low wage and dangerous jobs, and falling prey to drug and alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDs. If and when these youth return to the community, they bring these destructive behaviours and diseases with them.

Many of the young men leave their wives and children behind to make their own way, creating a community of single mothers with little or no income. When the men return the issues they bring back with them wreak havoc on the family.

All this is in an attempt to secure sufficient funds to start their own herds of cattle and become ‘true Maasai’ like their fathers before them.

Project Description:

The project proposes to address these issues by providing the opportunity to secure a loan in the form of livestock. These loans will be made available to any community member who seeks it, but assistance is particularly aimed at widows, single mothers, the youth and young families.

MAPED has identified the use and care for cattle as an additional issue within the community. Therefore loans will be accompanied by education programs in animal husbandry, agriculture and financial literacy.


Project Goals, Objectives and Results:

As stated previously, the main goal of the project is to provide a sustainable source of income for community members. However, education in the care and use of livestock, and evangelism through assistance are prime objectives.

As such, the result of the project is anticipated to be a stronger, more sustainable Christian community with greater income capacities and healthier herds. Through using loans as an initiative for agriculture education MAPED hopes to address environmental deterioration (e.g. over-grazing) also.

Project Methodology and Approach:

The project will entail the loan of one bull and five heifers to each applicant. The first five calves will be returned to the MAPED herd to create the capacity for more loans. The second five calves will be kept by the loan applicant. The third five calves will comprise the final loan repayment and hereafter the loan cattle and any additional cattle are the rightful property of the loan applicant.

During the first three stages of the loan the applicant will be provided with emergency food and water aid in the case of environmental emergency e.g. drought, and medicine/immunisations for the herd. At this stage the applicant can also return cows if, for example, a heifer fails to produce a calf. If for some reason one of the cows is to die during the first three stages the cow can be replaced, once, upon presentation of the hide.

All project cattle will be branded with a community symbol and will be considered the property of MAPED (as representative of the community) as such community members who attempt to abuse the system will be answerable to the community as a whole.


By requiring the repayment of loans and ensuring education in animal husbandry and environmental issues MAPED hopes that the project will not only be self-sustainable, but contribute to the sustainability of the community as a whole.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Monitoring and evaluation will be carried out on a monthly basis by MAPED members who will inspect the loan herds and report back on productivity, health and use of loan cattle e.g. to provide food, healthcare and education for children. Informal monitoring will be carried out by the observation of fellow community members.

Project Timeline:

The project will be ongoing, commencing as soon as adequate funds become available.

Project Budget:

MAPED is seeking the funds to purchase a start-up herd, fifty heifers and ten bulls (the capacity to generate ten loans). As the price for cattle is dependent on seasonal and economic factors this varies somewhat, however a rough estimate places the total cost at:

Additionally, MAPED would like to purchase stocks of immunisations, medicine, and emergency feed supplies in order to ensure the best possible standard of care for herds. The price of these items for a herd of sixty is approximately:

Item:                                                       Price Per Cow:                    Price Per 60 Cows:

Cow                                                         300,000tsh (£111)                18,000,000tsh (approx. £6,660)

Additional medical and feed supplies      100,000tsh (£37)                    6,000,000tsh

Total:                                                       400,000tsh (£148)


For current examples of similar projects underway in East Africa see:



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